Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Dog bite saga goes to court and the Big Dog gets the last laugh

Knowing that you are right and fighting for what is right sometimes requires patience and perseverance to see things through.

On April 14, 2011 a dog belonging to an irresponsible owner sunk its teeth into my leg.  I needed to follow through with legal system to insure that this would never happen again to anyone.     

On Tuesday, December 20 in District Court the case came before Judge Harry Freitas as the defendant asked for a trial.

This was the third time owner of the vicious dog had been to court and he was advised of his rights and the seriousness of the consequences should he be found guilt.

At his last court hearing the owner had pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial.

His defense was going to be that I, running up Shower Drive in Hawaiian Paradise Park every morning at 5 am, aggravated his dog which had lead to the incident.

This is the same owner who had his dog loose on 10 previous occasions and told me that if I didn’t like it “I should go run someplace else.”

Before his trial took place, and facing 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, he decided – under advice of counsel, to change his plea to “No Contest.”

After the No Contest plea Judge Freitas found the irresponsible dog owner Guilty and handed down a sentence.

The Judge ordered that the dog be licensed and chipped.  He also ordered that the owner pay a $200 fine, but since the owner is on social security disability the judge gave him a choice of paying the fine or doing 29 hours of community service.

The dog owner asked to do the 29 hours at the Keaau Humane Society and that judge thought that was a good idea.

Judge Freitas also ordered that the dog be confined to a kennel by December 31 and in the meantime the dog is to be tied away from the street.

The dog owner was also ordered to report to the nearest Police Department where he was to be photographed and finger printed.

The owner was instructed to return to court on February 23 at 1:30 pm to prove that he has followed the court orders.

I will also be present on 2/23/12 as I’d like to insure that this person follows the courts instructions.

After 8 months and several court appearances I feel that we are finally going to have this resolved to my satisfaction.

Kudos to the Prosecutors Office and Irene Bender who is with the Victim’s assistance Program working out of the Prosecutors Office and to the Police Department who followed through with the case.  Ms. Bender kept me informed along the entire way of the eight month process and even sat in the courtroom for that final court appearance.

The message of this story is to allow my readers to understand that the system, from the police, humane society, to the courts is there to protect us from undo harm. 

We all have the right to run, jog, and walk without being accosted by an unleased dog.


January 20, 2012 Posted by | Editorial | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Keaau’s Joe Barcia taking risks and learning from mistakes

Taking risk, making mistakes and learning from those mistakes are all part of life that we can learn through sports participation.

Keaau’s Joe Barcia has taken his share of risk and made more than a fair amount of mistakes, but has come out on top in the game of life.

Barcia became a quick study in learning about external motivation when at age 7 his father offer to buy him and his 9 year old brother, Dan, a boat to use in the canal in Kailua on the island of Oahu if they would train and compete in the Hilo Marathon.

The year was 1978 and the brothers, who were both learning the games of soccer, baseball and basketball, took their fathers boat offer and prepared to run a distance of 26.2 miles.

“I became the youngest marathon finisher in the State of Hawaii and I also beat my older brother by 7 minutes,” a proud Barcia said.

The seven year old completed his first marathon in 4 hours and 21 minutes, but his most excitable moment came on what he found that morning along the roadway.

“During the race I yelled out in excitement to my dad, that I had found 11 cents,” Barcia recalled.

In 1981 Barcia returned to do the Hilo Marathon at the advanced age of 10 and took more than an hour off his finishing time, crossing the line in 3:13.

“At age 12 I had run 11 marathons,” Barcia said.  “I come from a family of 12 and we got swept up in the wave of running during the mid 1970’s as the family all went to the local Oahu races every Sunday and every one of us ran.”

Barcia’s father would pass out homemade donuts to everyone which also became part of the motivation for the Barcia family members.

“My sister, Kathy, at age 12 won the Kauai Marathon in 3 hour 21 minutes,” Barcia said.  “She went on to run the Boston Marathon in 3:03.”

According to Barcia his love for sports caused him to place his education on the backburner.

“I became somewhat lost in high school and lacked the goals or direction, so I dropped out of Iolani and chose to go to Kalaheo instead,” he said.  “At Kalaheo I knew I could surf a lot more as I became quite skilled in cutting school, smoking, drinking and running away from home.”

Barcia placed a high priority on surfing as he went through what he called ‘lost periods’ in his life.

“After testing my parents, and the law, my parents yanked me out of school and I went to drug treatment with a bunch of old guys for 6 months,” Barcia said.  “Seeds were planted and with my girlfriend’s ultimatum and Narcotics Anonymous, I got clean and sober on April 15, 1989 and I haven’t drank or used drugs since then.”

In 1991 Barcia and that helpful girlfriend took an enormous risk and moved to Paradise Park in Keaau with no job and no money.

“At a friend’s suggestion, in late 1991, I started Windward Yard Service,” Barcia said.  “We manage landscapes and trim trees in East Hawaii.”

Barcia chose a highly physically demanding profession and with it the pressures and stress of owning a business.

“It is both physically and mentally challenging,” Barcia said.  “My wonderful wife of 19 years, Celeste, does all the bookkeeping and has provided us with three great kids, Sage, 17, Sydney, 14, and Hayley, 14.

And if you readers are wondering, yes, that encouraging and helpful girlfriend in Barcia’s past is now his wife.

But the story doesn’t end here, it only begins, as this highly motivated, risk taking middle aged man recently took on another immense challenge in his life.

Barcia, with his incredible athletic gift, watched his sister, Amy Harpstrite, finish her first Kona Ironman last year and decided to see if he was up for the challenge.

“I tried the Honu Half Ironman in June of this year and after cramping up and doing poorly on the run, said no to trying for Ironman,” Barcia said.

But as fate would have it Barcia received a lottery slot to the World Championships of Triathlons and still need time to decide.

“I went to Tahiti on a surfing trip with some of my family and there I was given a book written by two time Ironman winner Chris McCormack, called I’m here to win,” Barcia explained. 

While in Tahiti Barcia went on a mid day 16 mile run and hydrated with coconut water and bananas.  The proper hydration, along with reading McCormack’s book gave Barcia the answer he was looking for.

“Having a successful training run gave me the confidence I needed,” Barcia said.

Barcia began to juggle work with Ironman training over the course of the past several months, which was no easy task.

“I wanted to be able to race Ironman comfortably, as I didn’t want to be able to survive the Ironman,” Barcia said.  “My first priority is supporting my family, so training had to be fit in around my work.”

Barcia, the risk taker, not only completed the Ironman World Championships on Oct 8, he did it comfortably.

I admire Joe Barcia for his ability to live life fully and to take risks while doing it.

Barcia was given a challenging path to take and he has made the most of the situation while keeping his focus on what is important to him, his family.

And someday should you happen to see a blessed family man jogging around the streets of Hawaiian Paradise Park remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

November 14, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Runner attacked by dog in Hawaiian Paradise Park

One of the three punture wounds

Runner Bitten by Dog in HPP

One of the few perils that I’ve encountered as a runner is irresponsible dog owners that allow their dogs to roam free.

I’ve had an ongoing problem with such a person over the past few years who believes that, and I quote, “my dog has as much right as you to be on the street and if you don’t like it find someplace else to run.”

I’m partially at fault because I did not notify the Humane Society the 10 to 12 times that the dog came running after me, barking and growling.

Everything came to a breaking point on Thursday, April 14, when Tasha, the name of the pit bull mix, decided to escalate our relationship by taking a bite – leaving three prominent puncture wounds just above my right ankle.

I have since filled a police report and have notified the Humane Society.

This was the second complaint filed against the same dog within the last two months and, according to the Humane Society, the owner of the property must now appear in court.

The message I’m trying to send here is to contact the proper authorities whenever a loose animal threatens your right to walk or run on public property and do not wait until it actually bites you or someone else.

Tasha lives on the corner house of Shower Drive and 24th Street. 

This was the third time in the past 25 years of running that I have been bitten by a loose dog.  Do not let irresponsible pet owners deter you from running or walking. 

The Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Association provided the following link to the Big Dog following his dog bite:


April 15, 2011 Posted by | Editorial | , , , , | 10 Comments